Concussion free since 1/13!
After slippin' and slidin' for a while, I have finally pulled myself out the cave of concussion land. It turns out everyone's right: It takes time, patience and healing, but one day you wake up feeling fine, and after a while you realize you've kept feeling fine. I am so thrilled to feel like myself again. For eight weeks it felt like I was focusing an old lens, and finally I'm crystal clear!
Funding a dream...
This past Tuesday, Luminarium turned one and a half. Crazy how fast they grow up! After joking with Kim that the painful teething period of applying for grants back in October was finally over, sure enough, here come the baby teeth: 4 grants from 4 Local Cultural Councils! Concord, Watertown, Somerville and Boston. When I step back and compare where we were one year ago, I am thrilled by how far we've come. At the same time, last year's LCC apps weren't very strong for us. We were new, with only one show under our belt as a company. This year's applications we submitted felt very strong, which made these four successes such a positive reinforcement: We finally feel "real."
The Concord grant will go towards my Celebration of Preservation project for Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House centennial festivities in May (more on this another day). The Boston grant generously funds our general programming throughout the season. Most exciting, though, are the Watertown and Somerville grants, that will allow us to present installation work using found objects from the community, integrated with beautiful, intricately-lit contemporary dance.
My last post chronicled the inner workings of a new solo, one of many pieces involving light and movement that will come together with our installation work in Watertown and Somerville later this year. However, within the last 48 hours, my group piece has become a stronger presence in my mind and in my sketchbook than the solo. I won't fight it. Instead I'll allow the ebb and flow of inspiration to pull me closer to the choreography with time. But for now, some thoughts on the sextet:
For months now, I've been describing to Kim my need to create a piece with six dancers, emerging into the space on each other's shoulders as three tall, beautiful creatures. I've experimented with this in rehearsals, and we've found a very solid form of transportation that allows the dancer above to hover a light over the dancer below. At first, the light shines on just the feet of the walking dancer, then travels up to illuminate the face. By revealing the full body of the dancer in the light, we reveal also that he/she is not alone. I also described my urge to work with long, gossamer sleeves, allowing the lights to glow in their hands.
Without skipping a beat in our board meeting, Kim wisely summed it up as: "That image reminds me of the Sirens."
|Ulysses and the Sirens by Herbert James Draper|
...YES! That's exactly it! After researching images of the Sirens, I am so excited to have found a link between the images and emotions I sought to explore in this piece. (Thanks, Kim!) Included here are some of my favorite images, and ironically many of the images I found depict the Sirens as flying over their victims, or peering down at them from above; mimicking my original concept of having one dancer hover over another in space.
|The Siren by John William Waterhouse|
I am so freshly inspired, having found this resemblance between my current work and this series of imagery from the past. Physically, I see the hovering, the entanglement, the sinking, and the seduction.
|The Fisherman and The Siren by Knut Ekwall|
My question to myself now is: Are these three pairs of dancers 3 sirens, themselves? Or do they suspend and divide...come together and grow apart. Do they unite, then collapse into a smooth and somber inner struggle? I guess we'll have to see...
|Unknown Seas by Norman Lindsay|
|Odysseus and the Sirens - Pottery|
We must steer clear of the Sirens, their enchanting song,
their meadow starred with flowers...